The legendary Chor Bizarre restaurant, which has been housed for the past 25 years at Hotel Broadway, Daryaganj, has recently opened another outlet at the beautiful Bikaner House. The Chor Bizarre brand has been known for its delicious Kashmiri cuisine and vintage décor, and the same theme has been carried forward at this outlet.
Apart from the Kashmiri dishes that it is renowned for, the restaurant also has a collection of authentic dishes from different regions of the country. The kitchen has at its helm, Corporate Chef Rajiv Malhotra, who is more than happy to come to your table and take you through the intricacies of the various dishes.
The restaurant is divided into two sections, one with a Kashmiri décor, and the other with a British style décor, both of which were done up beautifully. We took a seat in the Kashmiri section, which had vintage and antique items such as radios, transistors, photographs, which were collected from various bazaar of India, and had been creatively arranged to reflect the bazaar to which the restaurant owes its name. Even some tables have interesting elements- one table is made of an iron gate, one with wood carving, and one which was originally a sewing machine.
We ordered a couple of mocktails to start with- Imli Mirchi Mary, a nice take on the Virgin Mary, this one had the addition of tamarind to make it sour and tangy, and Masala Mint Mojito, a nice and refreshing drink.
We started our meal with some chaat items such as Dahi Batata Puri and Palak Patta Chaat. The batata puri was stuffed with potatoes, yogurt, mint, tamarind, and was topped with sev. The palak patta chaat was served on a platter shaped like a leaf. The spinach was super crisp, and since it was very lightly dusted with flour, we could still taste the spinach. It was topped lightly with tamarind chutney and yogurt, and was certainly the best we’ve had till date.
Next, we had the Papad Platter, which had three different types of papads- dal, rice, and potato papad, served with two dips (a sweet and spicy chutney made with mint and saunth, and pachadi, which was made of yogurt and grated cucumber, tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves) and a kachumbar salad. The pachadi was simply delightful and we had to ask for seconds of that beautiful dip.
Then we took veg and non-veg kebab samplers.
The Veg Sampler had a spicy and tangy Paneer Tikka Achari; an earthy and slightly sweet Jimikand Anjeer Kebab (which was our favorite of the lot); Kurkuri Makai, which was a very unusual dish made of corn which was mixed with coconut cream and given flavors of lemon grass, converted into fritters and fried, giving them a creamy texture inside with a nice crunch outside; Kumbh ki Galawat (pan fried minced mushroom, which were melt-in-the-mouth soft); and Dahi Chironji ke Kebab (velvety yogurt kebabs stuffed with raisins and chironji dana).
The Non Veg Sampler had Lahsuni Jheenga (char grilled prawns which were plump and juicy); Machhi Amritsari, which was lightly battered and fried, with subtle flavoring of ajwain, though it could have done with a bit more seasoning; Machhi Methi Tikka, a flavorful and beautifully cooked piece of fish marinated in yogurt and fenugreek; Gazab ka Tikka, their take on the murg malai tikka- it was creamy and delicate; Galouti Kebab, which were nicely flavored but the texture could have been smoother; but our favorite of the lot was the Gosht ka Soola, which was packed full of flavor and was so juicy and succulent.
Both samplers were served with veg shashlik kebabs which were a nice touch.
After these dishes, we were served a palate cleanser shot, which was a nice concoction of pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, and chaat masala.
Coming to the main course, we first tasted a few dishes like Dum ka Murgh Korma, Kadhai Paneer and Dal Chor B’zar before moving to the Kashmiri dishes. The chicken had a thick, delicious gravy, which left us craving for more, and even the paneer was beautifully made, and the whole coriander seeds in it provided a nice accent of flavor. But it was the dal that blew us away- rich and creamy in texture owing to being simmered on low flames for over 24 hours.
After these, we ordered for Veg and Non-Veg Tarami, both of which were served in huge platters, which had a mound of rice in the center, dotted with the different dishes around the edge. We were also served a Mooli Akhrot ki Chutney- another Kashmiri specialty- and we simply loved it, and polished off 2-3 bowls of it.
The Veg Tarami had Tamatar Chutney, Tamaatar Chaman (which had paneer laced with a spicy tomato gravy), Dum Aloo (whole potatoes fried and cooked in a robust gravy), Khatte Baingan (a super-tasty sour eggplant dish which we simply loved), Nadru Yakhni (lotus root in a yogurt-based gravy spiced with aniseed and cardamom), Haaq (a Kashmiri specialty- a vibrant dish made with collard greens), Nadru Choorma (crispy lotus stems dusted with a lovely spice mix- a delicious little snack), and Kashmiri Rajma (thick, creamy, and mildly spiced).
The Non-veg Tarami had, apart from a few of the veg dishes, some superb delicacies like a juicy Mutton Seekh Kebab, the fabulous Tabak Maaz (deep fried lamb ribs), Goshtaba (balls made of mutton mince in a beautiful, delicate yogurt gravy flavored with cardamom), and Rista (velvety, spongy mutton balls in a spicy thin gravy laced with Kashmiri red chilies.
We also tried another delicacy- Aloo Bukhara Korma, a spicy and flavorful dish, with the spice balanced with sweet, rich plums. A really different flavor, and something which should not be missed. This dish goes extremely well with Bakarkhani, a slightly sweet bread, which had a slight biscuit-y texture and was tasty enough to be had on its own.
After the Tarami, we were also served some Kahwa and Kashmiri phirni, and we ordered another dessert- Grilled Pineapple. The phirni was different from others we’ve had, as this was made with semolina rather than rice flour, and was really tasty. It was served in a sakora, which always adds a nice earthy taste to the dessert. The grilled pineapple had pineapple chunks which were charred, and coated with a sugar syrup, and served with vanilla ice-cream dusted with cinnamon powder, and the combination worked really well.
The service was exceptional throughout the meal. Damandeep, who took care of our table, explained each dish properly and kept offering us good suggestions. For delicious, flavorful food and excellent service, Chor Bizarre is a must-visit!
Overall Rating: 4.25/5
Location: Bikaner House, Pandara Road, Delhi
Phone No.: 011-23071574/75